2003 SAAB 9-3 Vector Sedan 2.0T from North America


Saab will do you right as long as you treat it like a beauty queen, high maintenance


Nothing wrong the first year I had the car.

Replaced both sets of brakes ($2,000) last year, and just replaced a bunch of hoses, pipes, and stuff ($900).

Sometimes it seems like a lot of money to put into this car, but I feel it's a pretty low maintenance car as long as I can keep it placated.

It's a very sporty sedan, which is a lot of fun with acceleration... But sometimes I wish the ride was a little smoother.

General Comments:

I love this car. The 9-3 is such a contemporary looking car, even today it still looks like a fine Swedish automobile. It's a shame Saab Automobile is gone, and I hope they are able to re-start in the future.

I often times go back and forth about if I'd buy this car again. When the engine light comes on, I loathe this car. But 99% of the time it is running smoothly, and I accelerate on the highway, a wave of happiness rushes over me.

I would buy another Saab, but I intend on either a Cadillac, Audi, or Volkswagen for my next car.

This is a great, relatively reliable car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2012

2003 SAAB 9-3 Linear 2.0 turbo from North America


Have had this for 8 years, and love it


Power windows, CIM module and normal wear & tear - brakes, tires & battery.

General Comments:

Love to drive the car - it has a peppy turbo charged engine, and at the same time is fuel efficient.

The interior is very well laid out, and it has a clean European design, none of the curvy plastic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th September, 2011

2003 SAAB 9-3 Arc 1.8 turbo from UK and Ireland


No mechanical problems.

A few rattles and creaks in the dashboard from time to time. Some interior plastics are not great quality, which is a shame, because the rest of the interior is great. The seats are excellent, and the cream leather interior on my model is still in excellent condition.

Exterior is holding up well, with the exception of the bonnet Saab badge, which started to peel almost as soon as I got it - seems to be a common issue, and lets the car down. They can be replaced by a dealer apparently, but it should not happen in the first place.

General Comments:

Was wary of buying this car after reading that quite a few people have had bad experiences. But for me, this car has been great and never let me down.

The t1.8 Petrol turbo engine is smooth and accelerates nicely - relatively good cornering, and cruises nice and steady on the motorway. Generally feels very solid and safe, despite the odd dashboard rattle.

I average around 30mpg on short trips, but can get it up to 45 mpg on a long motorway trip. Not too bad for quite a sporty saloon.

I actually prefer the look of this 9-3 to the current model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 2011

2003 SAAB 9-3 Arc 2.2 from UK and Ireland


EGR valve failed - engine warning light.

Vacuum hoses perished = engine warning light.

Intercooler pipe split - engine warning light.

Intercooler cracked - engine warning light.

Airflow meter failed - engine warning light.

Ignition switch module failed - warning on dash.

Cracked front springs.

Seized top strut mounts.

Rubber buttons on dash wearing away.

Perished 'shark fin aerial' needed replacing.

Steering lock is failing and makes awful clonking when steering.

The list goes on...

General Comments:

This car is simply awful, and that is the only way to describe it. It is the worst car I have ever had the displeasure of owning. Cheap Vauxhall/GM car wearing a Saab badge (it shares many parts with GM cars). I am now in the process of selling it, as I don't trust it anymore. It has has destroyed my finances just keeping it on the road. Costs roughly £400 a month in repairs alone.

If you ever consider buying a Saab - don't! All of the problems I have mentioned are apparently 'common' to the marque. Shoddily put together and highly unreliable, you would be hard pushed to find anything as bad as this. Check the UK car reliability index and it echos my comments.

Now moving to Honda, and will never buy a Saab again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th March, 2011